As Jeremiah 29:13 says, a wholehearted search for God is the key to finding Him. In the same way, consistent devotion to God's ways is meant to bring greater experiences of His overshadowing glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Many believers are experiencing greater manifestations of God's glory, which are much needed at this time! Around the world, people are having increased encounters with the supernatural realm.
Lately, I've been asking the Lord how believers can position themselves to receive all the fullness of His glory. What helps or hinders someone's interactions in the glory realm?
The Lord showed me two things in response. Wholeheartedness helps. But a "heart with holes" is a problem!
Two Old Testament prophets, Haggai and Malachi, have something to say about hindrances to the Presence of God. Malachi speaks of “robbing” God through the halfhearted giving of tithes and offerings. Haggai says that apathy towards building God's house results in ruin, like carrying a “bag of money with holes.”
These prophets of restoration warn us about the dangers of neglecting or disounting God. A divided heart is akin to “robbing God.” Greed and selfishness will bring curses and lack.
The Lord is emphasizing to me that these two scriptures apply not just financially but also in a relational sense right now.
God is not after a portion of our heart, but the whole! Failure to maintain intimacy with God in these end times may mean the difference between life and death. It is like having a heart with holes!
Even in the context of New Testament grace, the danger of a divided heart remains.
While many Christians believe that the tithe is done away with in an age of grace, Jesus does not remove the tithe but increases it! He fulfills the law Himself, then calls us to give up everything for Him, "counting the cost." He moves the plumb line of righteousness from committing adultery to merely looking at someone lustfully. He tells the hypocritical Pharisees: "You give a tenth (tithe) of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former." (Matthew 23:23)
Jesus's standard for holiness is higher, not lower, than anyone expected. And His standard for relationships is the same.
For example, in Acts 4, Joseph of Cyprus (later nicknamed Barnabas) sells a field and lays the full proceeds of the sale at the apostles’ feet, encouraging and financing the early church (Acts 4:36-37). Later, we see the Holy Spirit promoting Barnabas as a missionary and co-laborer with Paul. This notable "Joseph" sows a pure offering from his heart and reaps an international harvest of souls.
Just one verse later in Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira imitate Barnabas’s initial offering, but they bring only a portion of the sale to the apostles. Their hearts are “holey” - greed and secrecy open them up to the enemy’s infiltration. This unfortunate couple is quite literally “slain” by the Spirit, each to their deaths.
Holiness, unity, and an honorable reputation cannot be bought at the discounted price of lies and selfish ambition. God's anointing, glory, and favor come at cost, and that cost is wholeheartedness; a "heart without holes!"
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.